Liverpool special school appoints student ambassadors

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Abbot’s Lea School in Woolton, Liverpool is celebrating the appointment of its first ever head boy and head girl in its 64-year history.

The ‘outstanding’ special school is embracing change under the leadership of its new headteacher, Ania Hildrey. Passionate about developing young leaders, Hildrey appointed sixth-form students Dan Houghton  and Chantelle Nicklin-Harvey as head boy and head girl for 2016-17.

The school caters for students with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and a range of associated learning difficulties. The new post-holders will become ambassadors for the school and take an active role in developing school provision, including representing the views of their fellow students.

After a rigorous selection process, including interviews and presentations, the headteacher announced the results at a whole school assembly. Hildrey praised all six applicants and thanked them for their presentations, which had to answer the question: ‘How can we make Abbot’s Lea the best special school in the world?’

Houghton put forward winning ideas on how the school can promote the development of meaningful life skills for sixth-formers and improve recycling. His personal ambition is to lead a reading volunteer buddying scheme for younger students.

He said:

I am so happy to be head boy. After I finish school I want to go to college and study child care and this opportunity will really help with my future ambitions.

Nicklin-Harvey was equally excited. She impressed the headteacher with her passion for technology and her desire to help younger students in the school through positive role modelling.

She said:

I am so excited to be head girl. ‘I’m looking forward to working on my ideas and gaining confidence and experience in this new role.

Hildrey added:

It’s a real honour to announce our first ever head boy and head girl at Abbot’s Lea School. All the students who applied had brilliant ideas about how we can make Abbot’s Lea the best specialist school in the world. Dan and Chantelle both showed real strength of character, humility, an ability to lead others and a passion for helping younger students in the school.

I am confident they will make a significant and positive contribution as head boy and head girl and I cannot wait to see them become fantastic ambassadors for Abbot’s Lea School community.

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Special World, from Inclusive Technology, is a free website linking 125,000 special education teachers, speech therapists and occupational therapists in 150 countries. Special World readers and contributors work with children who have additional needs or special educational needs including those with severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties and disabilities.

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